‘Lonely and scared’ elderly woman found sleeping on the busiest Manchester street
Heartbreaking: An elderly woman was found sleeping on the streets of Manchester city centre with only a duvet to keep her warm.
- Volunteers from Don’t Walk Pass found a woman in her 60s sitting ‘lonely and scared’ on a Manchester street.
- It is still unclear how the pensioner ended up alone in the streets.
- Members of the organization are now looking for ways they could help the elderly lady.
Scared and shivering, a woman in her 60s was sitting alone on a sheet of tarpaulin on Market Street – the busiest in the city. She was found by volunteers from the Don’t Walk Past organization on Tuesday night, Daily Mail reveals.
According to the organization, it was unclear how the woman ended up where they found her. Thankfully, Matthew Hudson, Lauren Jones, and other volunteers spotted the helpless pensioner, and she is now off the cold streets.
Ms Jones, who is one of the members of Don’t Walk Past, said:
“She was very confused. She was scared. She was sitting on a tarpaulin, with just a duvet. She was freezing cold.”
The volunteer first offered her help to the elderly woman but says she had to let her make the decision herself. Ms Jones explained:
“We made a few phone calls and gave her our card, to let her know we could help. People have said: ”She can stay with me”, but it’s not as simple as that. We went home and it played on our minds even more. We left at midnight and it was cold and wet. She was still out there. I posted that picture on Facebook and it went viral. The picture was really shocking. It broke my heart. I knew it was distressing yet powerful, but I didn’t realise how many people would be touched by it.”
The volunteers alerted Manchester City Council and went back on Wednesday to look for the elderly lady.
Outreach teams from the town hall were sent to search for the woman as well. However, it was Ms Jones who found the scared, homeless pensioner.
“She was very upset. She said she’s been moved on from where she’d been. She was in Piccadilly Gardens. It was scary for her, there were lots of noises. She said it was like ”Armageddon”. We’re still trying to find out what happened to her, how she ended up on the streets.”
The organization member said they have given the lady a new phone with a new SIM card so she could call them whenever she needs their help. What is more, she was offered a place in accommodation outside the city centre, although she wasn’t comfortable with it.
Luckily, the group decided to take care of the woman and put her in a hotel footing the bill themselves. Presently, the volunteers are looking for ways they and the authorities could help the homeless pensioner.
Furthermore, a Manchester City Council spokesman stated:
“We are pleased to see that quick action was taken to get this woman off the streets and into safe, stable accommodation. Our outreach team worked alongside homelessness charities and organisations to find her after being alerted on Wednesday. While we were unsuccessful, we were relieved to learn that she had been found by a partner charity.
The public’s response has been gratifying to see and reinforces our belief that no Mancunian will stand idly by when people are forced to sleep rough. We will always do everything in our power to support people in need and I now hope this woman gets all the help she needs to prevent her from ever having to sleep rough again.”